Assessing The Opportunities And Challenges In The Utilization Of Drought Early Warning Information As An Adaptation Strategy To Climate Change By County Governments In Kenya: A Case Study Of Isiolo County Government
Tullu, Roba Zeituna
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Kenya is among the countries in the developing world which is frequently impacted by droughts and other climate hazards. Whereas these hazards can be prevented or mitigated, in most cases the magnitude of their impacts are enormous leading to disastrous situations. Therefore, availability of early warning systems plays an essential role in informing preparedness initiatives and hence saving livelihoods, protecting lives and critical infrastructures especially among the most vulnerable communities in the ASALs. This study sought to determine the opportunities and challenges brought forth by the devolved Government structures in drought response in Isiolo County. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative methods in collecting research data which was analyzed using statistical package SPSS. The target respondents for this study were the Government officials, NGOs and humanitarian organizations who are currently implementing drought response programs in the County. The respondents were purposefully selected based on their expertise and involvement in drought response activities in their respective organizations. The study established that the drought early warning information was available and received on a regular basis; however, the major challenge was its utilization. The findings also revealed that the County Government was better placed in drought response, however due to institutional and political barriers, most of the responses were uncoordinated and inefficient in most instances. The study recommended that the County Government of Isiolo to put in place necessary policies and legislations to enhance drought early warning information sharing and dissemination. In order to strengthen the capacities of the County Government in drought response, by ensuring that the appropriate institutional frameworks for technical and financial efficiency are functional and suitable to trigger early response to the impending drought hazards. Further research needs to be conducted on availability and utilization of the available Early Warning Information on other extreme weather events such as floods in Isiolo County. It is also imperative to conduct a follow up study on how the opportunities brought about by devolution in the utilization of drought early warning information to determine its impacts on the communities affected by drought in Isiolo County.
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